Judge fines company $100K for Montana oil spill

By The Associated Press

A judge has fined Utah-based FX Drilling Inc. $100,000 after the company pleaded guilty to criminal charges over a 2011 oil spill in northwestern Montana.

 

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A judge has fined Utah-based FX Drilling Inc. $100,000 after the company pleaded guilty to criminal charges over a 2011 oil spill in northwestern Montana.

The fine levied by U.S. District Judge Brian Morris in Great Falls on Thursday was recommended in a plea deal between federal prosecutors and company attorneys.

The company pleaded guilty to negligently discharging oil into waters of the United Sates and to failing to immediately notify federal officials.

A cracked pipe in an oil field on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation led to the spill of up to 840 gallons of oil and production fluid, which spread nearly a mile to Cut Bank Creek.

The company previously spent $321,000 on the cleanup.

As part of the plea deal, federal prosecutors dropped charges against FX Drilling supervisor Quay Torok.

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